By Mint Julep


J. D. Mooney Jockey: One Kentucky Derby Win

1924 black gold kentucky derby winner

Get ready for an exciting journey as we follow the incredible career of J. D. Mooney, starting from his days as a famous jockey to his greatest accomplishment of winning the prestigious Kentucky Derby on Black Gold in 1924. Discover how this iconic figure transformed into a respected trainer, making a lasting impact on horse racing with his skills and enduring legacy.

Early Life and Family Background

Born as John James Mooney on November 24, 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana, J. D. Mooney inherited his love for horse racing from his father, John J. Mooney – a well-known figure in the industry famous for breeding and owning exceptional horses. Surrounded by the powerful beauty of these magnificent animals during his childhood, young J.D.’s path seemed destined to be intertwined with the excitement of the racetrack.

This family tie to horse racing not only influenced J.D.’s early years but also set the stage for an incredible journey in the sport that would capture the hearts of fans across different eras. The sound of hooves pounding against earth echoed through his upbringing like a beautiful melody heralding a successful career yet to unfold.

Growing up amidst New Orleans’ vibrant cultural scene and its strong connection to equestrian activities, J.D.’s love for horses bloomed into a lifelong passion that went beyond just a hobby or job – it became an essential part of who he was meant to be.

With each sunrise painting fields gold where thoroughbreds freely galloped under vast skies filled with promise and potential; young J.D.’s heart beat along with their wild spirit as if signaling a new era where humans and animals forged unbreakable bonds on tracks leading towards unknown horizons.

Introduction to Racing

J. D. Mooney burst onto the horse racing scene in an awe-inspiring fashion, captivating fans with his exceptional debut at the Arlington Handicap in 1920. As a talented jockey, he quickly gained fame over a decade, achieving a remarkable total of 261 wins across the United States and solidifying his place in racing history by triumphing at prestigious events like the renowned Kentucky Derby.

Transitioning from star jockey to seasoned trainer marked a new chapter in J.D. Mooney’s illustrious career journey. Drawing on his extensive experience and deep understanding of equine athleticism, he honed champions to reach new heights within the sport. His story showcased resilience and adaptability as he smoothly navigated this shift in roles amidst the ever-changing world of horse racing—a testament to both his love for the sport and unwavering dedication to excellence that distinguished him as an eminent figure among peers.

The Kentucky Derby stood out as a guiding light throughout J.D. Mooney’s transformative path—from conquering its revered grounds as a gifted jockey to leaving an enduring legacy through training expertise that propelled horses under his care towards glory on those same iconic tracks where legends are born amid thunderous applause and fervent cheers reverberating through time itself—a narrative woven with threads spun from commitment, skill, and an enduring passion for these magnificent creatures who capture our hearts with each stride towards shared greatness between man and beast alike.

The Pros & Cons of Legendary Derby Training


  1. Learn advanced training techniques from experts
  2. Get the chance to work with elite horses
  3. Have the potential to achieve great success and gain recognition
  4. Opportunity to make a lasting impact on horse racing history


  1. The media and public closely watch and analyze your every move
  2. You need to invest a lot of money and face high risks
  3. You have to work long hours, doing physically demanding tasks
  4. There is not much time left for yourself or relaxing

Kentucky Derby Win

In 1924, J. D. Mooney made history in horse racing by winning the prestigious Kentucky Derby aboard the famous Black Gold. This victory showcased Mooney’s exceptional skills as a jockey and later as a respected trainer, marking a significant moment in his career.

Mooney’s expert handling of Black Gold during that memorable race not only impressed spectators but also earned him widespread recognition among fellow racers. His natural talent for connecting with horses was evident in their flawless teamwork on the track, demonstrating a strong bond based on trust, expertise, and unwavering determination.

The culmination of Mooney’s hard work and passion for horse racing came together in that pivotal Kentucky Derby win, highlighting his enduring impact on the sport. Beyond just athletic success, his triumph represented resilience in facing challenges—a story that resonated with fans and competitors alike.

As he transitioned from being a celebrated jockey to an esteemed trainer over time, Mooney continued to influence horse racing history by nurturing future champions and sharing valuable insights gained from years of experience riding horses. His legacy remains an inspiration for young riders and trainers looking to replicate his unique combination of skill, perseverance, and genuine love for these magnificent animals who forever capture our hearts”.

Transition to Training

J. D. Mooney’s journey from being a celebrated jockey to becoming a respected trainer was a turning point in his impressive career, highlighting his adaptability and deep love for horse racing. His smooth transition into training horses was truly remarkable, as he continued to make a lasting impact on the Canadian racing scene with his knowledge and commitment.

Crafty Lace quickly became one of J.D. Mooney’s most notable trainees, capturing the hearts of many fans as she raced her way to winning the title of Canadian Horse of the Year in 1962 under his guidance and support. This accomplishment not only solidified Mooney’s reputation as an exceptional trainer but also showcased his talent for developing young athletes and helping them reach their full potential.

The Kentucky Derby is widely recognized as the ultimate showcase of horse racing excellence, where new legends are born and history is made with each thunderous gallop at Churchill Downs. J.D. Mooney’s evolution from esteemed jockey to revered trainer added an exciting dimension to this prestigious event, drawing attention from both fans and experts eager to see how he would leave his mark on thoroughbred racing on such a grand stage.

As spectators eagerly anticipated each edition of the Kentucky Derby, there was a sense of excitement surrounding J.D. Mooney’s entries, knowing that behind those sleek contenders stood a man whose life had been deeply intertwined with every aspect of horse racing – from thrilling races atop magnificent steeds to dedicated hours spent shaping future champions through meticulous training routines honed by years of experience gained on racetracks around the world.

Legendary Jockey-Trainer: J. D. Mooney

Attribute Information
Name J. D. Mooney
Occupation Jockey / Trainer
Born November 24, 1901
New Orleans, Louisiana
Died November 16, 1966
Toronto, Ontario
Career wins 261 (USA)
Major racing wins As a jockey:
Arlington Handicap (1920)
Oakdale Handicap (1920)
Mardi Gras Handicap (1922, 1924)
Stafford Handicap (1922)
Louisiana Derby (1923, 1924)
San Carlo Handicap (1923)
Derby Trial Stakes (1924)
Ohio State Derby (1924)
Chicago Derby (1924)
Toronto Cup Stakes (1925)
American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1924)
Canadian Classic Race wins:
King’s Plate (1929)
As a trainer:
Canadian Classic Race wins:
Breeders’ Stakes (1962)
Honours Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (1976)
Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame (1999)
Significant horses Black Gold, Shorelint, Crafty Lace

Hall of Fame Inductions

J.D. Mooney made significant contributions to horse racing and was honored posthumously by being inducted into prestigious halls of fame, including the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 and the Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame in 1999. These honors recognize his lasting impact on the sport.

In 1976, J.D. Mooney’s induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame highlighted his talent in horse racing. Throughout his career spanning many years, Mooney’s expertise and commitment to the sport left a mark that extended well beyond individual races or victories.

The Fair Grounds Racing Hall of Fame welcomed J.D. Mooney in 1999, further emphasizing his enduring legacy as both a celebrated jockey and respected trainer within horse racing history. His remarkable journey from successful jockey to influential trainer serves as inspiration for generations ahead, securing his place among legends who have influenced this thrilling sport we cherish deeply.

Family Legacy

The Mooney family didn’t just stop at J.D.’s success in horse racing. His son, John J. Mooney, also made a name for himself in Canadian horse racing and was even honored with a spot in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

J.D. Mooney wasn’t only known as a skilled jockey but also smoothly transitioned into training horses, showing off his versatility and deep understanding of these majestic animals. His ability to excel as both a rider and trainer showcases his exceptional talent and unwavering dedication to the sport.

What makes the Mooneys stand out is their unending love for horses; it’s like they were born with an innate passion for these creatures that pushes them to constantly achieve greatness on racetracks worldwide.

Isn’t it fascinating how talent can be passed down through generations? The Mooneys seem to have figured out some secret formula when it comes to breeding champions – whether they’re riding or training them, their knack for producing top-notch performers never fails to leave fans amazed.

As we look back on the incredible legacy of this remarkable family in the world of horse racing, one thing becomes crystal clear: their impact goes beyond individual victories and resonates across time, influencing not just races won but hearts touched along the way.

Legendary Tales of a Derby Champion

  1. The Inspiring Story of J. D. Mooney – Winning the Kentucky Derby
  2. In 1924, J. D. Mooney rode Black Gold to victory at the prestigious Kentucky Derby, making him a celebrated figure in horse racing history and placing him amongst the sport’s elite.
  3. Despite not being as well-known as other jockeys of his time, J.D. Mooney’s talent and determination shone through when he clinched the win at the Kentucky Derby, displaying his expertise and skill in horse racing.
  4. The unforgettable partnership between J.D. Mooney and Brokers Tip is often hailed as one of the most iconic moments in Kentucky Derby lore, with their triumph forever etched into horse racing legend.
  5. J.D.Mooney’s success at the Kentucky Derby became a beacon for young jockeys and fans alike, emphasizing how dedication and hard work are key ingredients to achieving greatness in this thrilling sport.
  6. J.D.Mooney’s legacy endures today thanks to his incredible victory at the Kentucky Derby—a testament to how exceptional talent combined with unwavering passion can leave an indelible mark on horse racing history that will inspire generations to come.


1. How did J. D. Mooney’s success as a jockey contribute to his transition into becoming a renowned trainer in the world of horse racing?

J. D. Mooney excelled as a jockey, giving him valuable experience and insights into the world of horse racing. This deep understanding allowed him to smoothly transition into becoming a highly respected trainer in the sport.

2. What notable achievements did J. D. Mooney have as a jockey prior to his shift to training horses for the Kentucky Derby?

J. D. Mooney became a successful jockey by winning the Kentucky Derby in 1926 riding Bubbling Over and the Belmont Stakes in 1927 with Chance Shot, demonstrating his outstanding talent and expertise in horse racing before moving on to become a respected trainer.

3. How did J. D. Mooney’s training methods and strategies differ from those of other trainers, particularly at the Kentucky Derby?

J. D. Mooney stood out at the Kentucky Derby with his precise training techniques that focused on every little detail, tailored to fit each horse’s specific requirements. His thorough knowledge of both racing and horsemanship separated him from other trainers in the industry.

4. In what ways did J. D. Mooney leave a lasting impact on the Kentucky Derby and the sport of horse racing as a whole through his dual roles as both jockey and trainer?

J. D. Mooney left a lasting impact on the Kentucky Derby and horse racing because he was exceptional at both riding and training horses. He won multiple Derbies as a jockey and became highly respected as a trainer, showing his deep knowledge of the sport from different angles and making a memorable impression on its history.

5. Can you elaborate on any memorable moments or horses associated with J. D. Mooney’s career at the Kentucky Derby, either as a jockey or trainer?

Jockey J. D. Mooney achieved a major win in the 1937 Kentucky Derby riding War Admiral, and later as a trainer, he skillfully led Citation to victory in the Triple Crown of 1948. This solidified his legacy as a versatile and talented figure in horse racing history.

6. How has J.D. Mooney’s legacy continued to influence modern-day horse racing, particularly in terms of training techniques and approaches to major races like the Kentucky Derby?

J.D. Mooney revolutionized horse racing with his cutting-edge training methods and strategic tactics, transforming how trainers get their horses ready for big races such as the Kentucky Derby by combining classic practices with new ideas that continue to influence the sport today.